Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
the 200 million global consumers of aspartame, a sweetener, could be at high risk of contracting cancer, claims a recent study. Conducted by researchers from Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, a non-governmental organisation in Italy, the study shows the sweetener can cause cancer in rats at levels approved for human consumption. This is the first experimental study to link aspartame to cancer and is scheduled for publication in Environmental Health Perspectives.
They tested the sweetener on 1,800 eight-week-old rats. The animals were divided into groups that received feed containing concentrations of aspartame at dosages simulating human daily intakes of 5,000, 2,500, 500, 100, 20 and 4 milligramme/kilogramme (mg/kg) body weight. The experiment lasted till all the test animals died naturally, which took about three years.
Each rat was examined for microscopic changes in all organs and tissues. The scientists found extensive evidence of malignant cancers including lymphoma, leukaemia and tumours, at multiple organ sites in both males and females. "Our study has shown that aspartame is a multipotential carcinogenic compound whose effects are also evident at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg body weight, notably less than the current acceptable daily intake (adi) for humans," the scientists say in the study. Aspartame's adi is set at 50 mg/kg body weight in the us and at 40 mg/kg in Europe. The researchers suggest the present guidelines on the use and consumption of the chemical be reviewed.
Finding itself pushed into a corner, the industry is contesting the results of the Italian study. "Aspartame's safety has been documented in more than 100 scientific studies. In all the cancer studies conducted before its approval, there was no evidence of any kind of cancer associated with aspartame -- none. People have been using it for over 20 years in some countries with no health issues," says Craig Petray of NutraSweet Co., Chicago, usa, the major producer of the sweetener.
Ajinomoto, another manufacturer, says the study raises "ill-founded" fears about an ingredient that help Our experiments give definite answers confirming the carcinogenicity of aspartame." The researchers increased the number of rats being tested and used more doses of aspartame in the experiments.
Despite what the industry says, regulatory bodies plan to reassess aspartame's safety. Even when the Ramazzini group had presented preliminary results at a press meet in June, the European Food Safety Authority (efsa) had decided to evaluate aspartame's safety. The Food and Drug Administration of the us, too, intends to request for the data and conduct an in-depth review of the study. "Our results have been presented to various regulatory bodies in Italy, Europe and usa. We are planning to send the raw data to the ministry of health in Italy after which it will also be sent to other regulatory bodies in agreement with the ministry of health. This has been communicated to efsa," says Soffritti.